How Being Fake on Social Media Can Distort Your View of Reality
Social media is baked into our everyday life. So much to the fact that we sometimes feel we have to be fake on social media to feel about ourselves. It has gotten so bad that people risk their lives and their self-esteem and well-being just for social status and what we like to call today clout. Social media has turned into a platform that opened up the world, into an obsession to appear almost in an alternate reality. Many of us have based our complete existence around what appears to be true instead of reality. This has gotten so bad that (BDD) Body Dysmorphic Disorder has become increasingly prevalent today. BDD has become increasingly prevalent in children 12 years and older. It is a disorder that consists of a distressing or impairing preoccupation with imagined or slight defects in appearance. This isn’t just in adolescents, but adults of all ages today.
The Social Dilemma
Last year on Netflix, the movie The Social Dilemma broke down this phenomenon. If you haven’t seen this, you absolutely NEED to watch it. It breaks down what I already knew as experience as a marker of who we are and what we do. Have you ever thought about buying something, and then you go to your phone and you see an ad for it? There it is. The internet is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. We have not only become monetized by the internet, our brains are being controlled by it too. I seem to be late for a lot of things, but I watched a show on Netflix this weekend called The Circle. Let me tell you the accuracy of this show is amazing and accurate. This show brilliantly showcased how being fake on social media has a powerful hold on ys.
Fake is the New Normal
The premise of the show is similar to Big Brother. On the Circle, contestants only communicate virtually through the platform called the Circle, and they use their profile pics to represent themselves to each other. There are catfish among them like they are on social media. Do you remember MTV’s Catfish? People with fake pics, identities, and personalities to game more influence and popularity. They would become influences and have the power to block the least popular players, and blocking them. At that point, they find who is real and who is fake. The draaaaaaaaaaaaaama. I am heeeeeeeeeeeere for it. Understand, I sat down marathoned the first season.
One of the most powerful parts of the show was when Ed came on the show with his mom and questions everyone’s motives. The other player who showed up with him confessed to using a fake persona (a picture of her friend as her instead of her own), was made to feel welcome and reassured. Ed’s stay in the circle was short, as he was blocked soon after. These people didn’t have their phones, the “internet” was just 8 people trying to become an influencer.
In earlier days of the internet, we assumed that people who were hiding or pretending to be someone else had deviant motives. This doesn’t happen in the show, and it doesn’t happen on social media like it used to be. #theaccuracy. The show shows how we fake our ways through chats, engagements, and pictures, and we see this as normal! Out of all of the contestants, only one stayed true to themselves and true to the game. Recently, we found out how fake Derrick Jaxn was, and even though when it came out that he was cheating on his wife and his followers were outraged, our memories are short, and he will bounce back just fine. Being phony on social media allows you to quickly adjust to the climate in which you are in. It is a form of manipulation, but it is seen as normal, and most of the time we do not bat an eye. Honestly, many us now have a bit of a twisted view of what’s normal.
Boldness of Anonymity
Being fake on social media has elevated the boldness of being anonymous. The trolls are running around unhinged on social media, faceless, private, post less profiles wreaking havoc on others. Do you know how many times I have addressed or block a user who has run their mouth and trying to disrupt your peace online? I block at least TWO a week from my social media. Being anonymous has a false sense of power that gives a person the appearance of no consequence because no one knows who they are. Pay attention to how brazen and brutal the anonymous users are, then click on their profile. 9 times out of 10 there is either no pic, no posts, or their page is private. They do not have to face anyone, and that is the way they set it up.
Image Filters: Love and Hate
Being fake on social media is centered around the picture. Enter: filters. We used to call this touch-up before social media. The only people getting touch-ups were models, celebrities, and people on magazine covers. Every person that has a phone now has the ability to apply filters to their pics to alter their appearance. We now have a distorted view of how we think a person should look like. We now expect people to show up with flawless clear skin as we see in pictures. We expect to see near-perfect body shapes, hair, and clothing. It is so bad that some people even start to believe they actually look like their filtered pics. Do you know how many people I know that look different without filters will not post an unfiltered pic? So they have started to see themselves way, and they start to train others to see us as the filtered version of ourselves rather than our true self. A harmless t minor enhancement tool has people believing this fake person is real. This isn’t healthy, and it causes unprecedented levels of depression and other mental disorders. It pushes us to believe that a quick click is better than actually, taking care of our skin, our bodies, and our mental health, therefore distorting our view of reality.
Be yourself. Be authentic. Trust me, authenticity pays off in the long run.